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Fiona Goldthorpe

Fiona Goldthorpe (b. 1974) is a self-taught artist based in Johannesburg, South Africa. 
Born in the United Kingdom, Fiona graduated from the University of Johannesburg in 1994 with a National Diploma in Graphic Design. It was during this period she developed a passion for the arts in general and started to explore Fine Art.
“I strive to push the limits of realism using both charcoal and graphite. I love these mediums for the drama and contrast I am able to create. For me it is important to feel constantly challenged. My aim is to capture the subject in an immersive, close-up way so that one is able to stare into the soul of that person/animal. I believe the emotional connection is so much greater that way. 
My collection is inspired by the great faces and animals of the African continent. Faces etched like maps to an Africa that exists in a timeless world, capturing the ageless ceremony, dignity and passion of that character - be it an animal or person. Just like the medium I use depicts contrasts, so too is the core of my subject matter. Beauty and grit, strength and humility, power and vulnerability...”

Fiona’s have been featured in both local (’Destiny’ magazine, ’The South African Artist’) and international (’Chasses Internationales’) publications.
• March 2019, her first piece entitled “Farai” was entered into the Sanlam National Portrait Awards (South Africa) and was awarded one of the Top 40 Finalists, exhibited at the Rust-en-Vrede Gallery in Durbanville.
• February of 2020 selected by Hansford & Sons Fine Art of London as one of a handful of global emerging artists on their ‘Emerging Artist Platform’. 
• May 2020, signed to the Warren Cary Wildlife Gallery in Hoedspruit, South Africa.
• September 2020, became a founding member of The Drawing Guild of South Africa – which showcases artwork from some of the top dry-media artists in the country. Fiona is on the judging panel for ongoing exhibitions/awards.
• 22-24 October 2020 - Exhibited at ‘The Degrees of Realism’ art exhibition in Nelspruit with The Drawing Guild of South Africa, in collaboration with Weylandts.
• September 2021 - Top 40 Finalist for ‘Agnes’ - National Portrait Awards, exhibited at the Rust-en-Vrede Gallery in Durbanville and the Rupert Museum in Stellenbosch for the “Portrait 100” exhibition.
• June 2022, signed to the Lisa King Gallery/Artrader in Cape Town, South Africa.
• 18 Aug - 29 Sept 2022 - Selected to showcase her piece ‘Agnes’ at the First Thursdays Ten Year  Anniversary Exhibition ‘Together’ at the AVA (Assosciation for the Visual Arts) Gallery in Cape Town.
• 1 March 2023 - Chosen by Fila South Africa to be their Brand Ambassador for LYRA Germany and Canson in South Africa.




The first Canson paper I used was the Canson® "C" a Grain®. I love the slightly warmer/natural tone of the paper along with the slight grain which I find enhances particular pieces such as the texture of elephant or rhino skin. Because the paper is of such a high quality, it also stands up to the 'rigours' or some of my drawing techniques without tearing or lifting the fibres of the paper. It is extremely durable with very good erasability. The second paper I use, is the Canson® 1557® paper. I find this paper best for creating images with very fine details as it has a very fine grain. It also alllows me to create a very smooth, seamless solid background as the graphite can glide along the surface.because this paper retains pigments so well, along with its extra white base - I can create beautiful high-contrast black and white works which really 'pop' off the paper. Again, this paper really holds up to repeated earasing without any damage. An overall wonderful product which never disappoints.